In What to Wear Part One we talked about planning what you'd like to get out of your portraits session. This planning can help guide your clothing choices as well. Now that you know how you are going to display your photography, it’s time to head to the closet to create a look. Choosing outfits for a group might seem like a daunting task but if you focus on style, tone and color we can find something in everyone’s wardrobe that works.
Choosing a Style
The style of your clothing should complement the space where the images are being displayed, as well as the type of setting the session is going to take place in. If you’re hanging a large portrait in a formal living room, then formal attire would be the way to go. A formal wardrobe would consist of ties, jackets, blouses, skirts and dress pants for an overall more tailored look. Formal sessions can be done in studio, in the home or in landscaped gardens. Formal doesn't have to stuffy - it can be fun and glamorous. Don't hold back on sequins, tuxedos and designer shoes.
If you’re going to hang a collection of canvases in a nicely appointed family room, you may go with a semi-formal look. Semi-formal is probably the most popular style for clothing in a family portrait. It’s perfect for studio sessions as well as outdoor settings. A semi-formal look can consist of oxfords, sweaters, cardigans, casual dresses, feminine blouses, khakis and even nice (darker) jeans. Think business casual, casual Friday or a night out with friends.
If you’re thinking of displaying pictures in a low key, rustic or simple space like a child’s room or hallway you may try a relaxed, casual look. Casual clothing can consist of short sleeves, casual jeans, T-shirts, sundresses and even bare feet. Casual clothing works well with small children and summer sessions when you want to create a laid-back feeling. It’s important when deciding on a casual look to keep things classic looking rather than trendy. Casual clothing should fit well and still be accessorized with belts and jewelry when appropriate.